GET ON UP

Celio Gonzalez: Arriba!
From Arriba!/Up! (Tico, 196?)

When I first started to get into Latin, this is one of the first titles I picked up. Gonzalez is a Cuban artist, recorded a few sides with Tico (this was from his third album) and he has the distinction of looking like Mr. Rogers, only more waxen and a little scary.

When I first bought this LP, the store owner warned, “the instrumentation is good but his voice kind of ruins it” but I have to disagree. The music is great – swinging and soulful, just the kind of beat to get you twirling a dance partner on the parquet. But Gonzalez’ singing fits right in the mix. Sure, he’s not the finest Latin troubadour I’ve ever heard, but he’s got verve and the ability to belt out a good one which seems to fit with this cut just fine.

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